Models and Clients: Pre-Photo Shoot Recommendations

April 15, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

As a photographer, I have two styles. A "run and gun" mode which includes impromptu portraits on the street, event photography and other forms where planning is minimal, if any. It's a very "what you see is what you get" style. The other style is the planned shoot.

Whenever I work a studio shoot and even on many location shoots, it is ideally planned, from lighting, angles, lenses, cameras, backgrounds, props, and on and on. (Of course as a photographer, I've come to know that even with all the prep in the world something can and often does happen on shoots that can change things up, but that's just part of the game).

Just as it takes me time and energy to pull off a good shoot there are some factors that will always remain in your hands. Whether you are a professional model, actor or client coming for photos there are things YOU can do to help me ensure that our time together is successful.

1) Prior to our shoot, please refrain from drugs and excessive alcohol both on the day of our shoot and the day before.  

2) A few days before the shoot you should refrain from consuming highly salty foods. Salt makes you retain water. Water retention can add apparent weight which is not your true form and no one wants to look heavier than they are (usually). Don't confuse this with the idea of not drinking water. Hydration is vital and that is covered later.

3) If shooting nudes, please do not wear tight clothing including bras, tight pants that leave marks at the waist or your sleeves rolled up tight on your arms. This will leave a mark for hours.

4) Do not engage in spray tans before a shoot. The product can sometimes build up or look odd in photos. A natural tan is okay, but it's recommended that you don't tan for at least a week prior to the shoot but only you know how your skin reacts. We want to avoid, peeling, redness, flakiness, unevenness, etc. It's tough to fix skin when it's under this kind of recent stress.

5) Please get plenty of sleep the night before. Looking tired is only correctable to a degree in post processing.

6) Arrive to the shoot well fed. Low blood sugar can impair our shoot because you aren't 100% there and may have your attention on eating. Don't eat foods prior to our shoot that cause discomfort when in your system. This point is even more important when you are getting body painted as this means standing there for (sometimes) hours.

7) Your hair and teeth should be clean, neat, trimmed or removed.  There is no need to style your own hair unless you were instructed to prior to our shoot. Styling it means that it has to be washed, dried and re-styled for the shoot which can add a good hour or more. If there is any question, check with me! Shave, pluck, whatever you've got to do that you would usually do. And teeth are an obvious thing but I had to put it somewhere.

8) Drink plenty of water the day before and the day of our shoot. It's recommended that one consume half of their body weight in ounces of water a day for optimal health. Drinking plenty of water also helps with the skin (it's glow and clearness) and the eyes (vibrance) and moisture. Moisture is the essence of wetness. And  wetness is the essence of beauty.

9) Do not arrive with make-up on.  I know that might not be a routine thing for women but when a make-up artist is going to be on the shoot, anything you put on will need to be taken off before the MUA can start! It's easier to just arrive without make-up. Do arrive with a moisturizer on. 

10) Handle your life so that your attention isn't wandering outside of our shoot. Shoots tend to go better when you are there and focused and we are, in unison, in the zone and working toward our end-goal.

11) If in doubt or have a question to the above, just contact me prior to our shoot. I am always open to answering any questions.

12) Relax and have fun. We're making art. It's a magical thing. Photos serve many purposes and I take great joy in making them. I want them to be the best for your sake and mine. Help me, help you by following these guidelines (notice I didn't say rules).

Omitted are the things expected of professionals which include and can be found here.


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